Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

MAR 2014

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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includes a retaining wall, inset column designs that hold black granite com- memorative plaques which serve as focal points, plus natural stone benches and monuments. "The Oakdale Veteran's Memorial Committee worked to fulfill the dream of creating a beautiful and fitting tribute to veterans and their families," said Bill Rasmussen, chairperson of the committee. "The memorial is a place of honor, reflection and pride so Oakdale citizens will have a place for Memorial Day, Flag Day and Veterans Day observances and other events." The initial design called for a double wall exposed on both sides and set with the memorial plaques. But after looking at the site, Jerry Koecher of Linwood Contracting, and employee Becky Heavey, suggested a retaining wall with por- tions of exposed split face block on the back side. They devised inset columns within the wall to offer protection for the polished granite plaques. Both modi- fications proved to be a more cost-effective solution. "A double wall is double the money of a retaining wall," said Koecher. "It would also have required wider, custom limestone caps, which are more ex- pensive too. We addressed the issue by creating a retaining wall that has some exposed back. Using standard retaining wall block, we created the wall and features that would help protect the commemorative plaques rather than ex- posing them to the elements." The etched plaques have images of a bald eagle, a poem and dedication text, plus insignia from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines. "Versa-Lok is versatile and can be used to create other features in addition to retaining and freestanding walls," said Koecher. "You also can make columns, stairs, corners and curves with the standard unit without the need for special pieces. This has really been one of my favorite projects because of who it hon- ors and for the interesting solutions that enhanced the design." The committee and Koecher selected the Rose Creek blend to create the retaining wall as well as the columns in the center and on each end, which are capped with buff-colored Indiana limestone. "This solution sets the plaques off visually, and it also creates a nice dimen- sionality," said Jason Rexine, contractor manager at the stone manufacturer. Willow Creek brickstone paving stones in the harvest blend color were also used in the patio projects. From an aerial view, the design of the Veteran's Memorial has an uncanny resemblance to a local icon. "If you look at the entire design of the Veteran's Memorial from above, it almost looks like the shape of the Oakdale tree logo. That wasn't intended, but we think of it as kind of a happy accident," said Rasmussen. Koecher also created a matching pillar in the plaza to serve as a foundation for an existing veteran's memorial obelisk previously located at the entrance to City Hall. Other stone memorials include two basalt pillars that function as water fea- tures, donated by Super Smokedale, SEH Architects of Oakdale and a Lake Elmo stone supplier. These hold bronze plaques in honor of the Minnesota National Guard, POWs and MIAs. Another bronze plaque mounted on a lime- stone slab lists individual and business volunteers, major donors, contractors and suppliers involved in the project. In addition to the memorial, two new paver patio areas highlight Oakdale police officer Richard Walton, who died in the line of duty in 1982. Top: To help pay for the memorial, about $19,000 in engraved pavers were sold and installed at the flagpole plaza in front of the memorial. Inset columns within the wall were built to offer protection for the etched and polished granite plaques. Middle: A boulder with a plaque honoring Oakdale police officer Richard Walton, who died in the line of duty in 1982, was installed in a planter constructed with materials that match the memorial wall. Bottom: The initial design called for a double wall exposed on both sides and set with the memorial plaques. After evaluating the site, Linwood Contracting suggested a retaining wall with portions of exposed split face block on the back side. The ground cover is red mulch. 36 LC DBM DBM LC 034-037.indd 36 2/27/14 4:17 PM

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